The second month of the new year wound up being a bit more intense than we were prepared for...

After five days of stomach pain with no other symptoms, Wednesday, February 7th found me taking my husband to the emergency room. Overnight he wound up being transferred to the hospital due to a ruptured appendix and pretty severe abdomen infection. I was awake for about twenty-four hours during that time (with maybe a total of thirty minutes of sleep once we got the hospital and were waiting...waiting..waiting...for someone to tell us something). It was, honest to God, the scariest twenty-four hours of my life and something I sincerely hope I won’t have to experience again.

There’s nothing like going from (the first night if pain) thinking “It’s probably something he ate,” to (the third night) considering that, “It may be a gallstone,” to (the fifth night) finally realizing that, “It's time for the ER!” His pain came and went, and he didn’t have any other symptoms that would indicate the appendix. He also has an incredibly high pain tolerance due to his previous experiences with hospitals and, despite how many times I asked and insisted that he needed to get it checked out, he said he was okay. And since it was his body, not mine, I took his word for it. He knew what he was feeling. But that fifth night came, and he finally said, “Okay, let’s go”.

In the first two hours that we were at the ER, his temperature when from 99* to 101*. That was the first indicator that something was wrong and not just a "belly ache." Then, when they took his blood, it showed his white count was up, which was the second indicator. Finally, they decided to do a CT scan, and after waiting a couple of hours for the results, the ER doctor came back and said, “It’s acute appendicitis, but it hasn’t ruptured yet.” We hung on that last sentence because any time health becomes a serious matter with my husband, it's very scary (again, because of the fact that in his lifetime, he’s had twenty-seven surgeries and has been on countless antibiotics because of it).

However, once we got to the hospital, we waited...and waited and waited...for someone other than the nurse to see us. Around 5AM, we were told it wasn’t as “simple” as originally though. His appendix had indeed ruptured, and his abdomen was inflamed with infection. Surgery was a no-go until the inflammation and infection were taken care of because it would be dangerous to open him up. This meant two weeks straight of antibiotics, something we usually try to avoid. Husband can’t just take them whenever for whatever, or his body will just continue to build a tolerance to them. Luckily, the last time he was on any intense antibiotics was fifteen years ago, and last time he had had any surgery was seven years ago. Between all those times, he luckily hasn't had a need for antibiotics. So, despite the news being the scariest news that we could have imagined in all the scenarios that could have happened...I kept thinking to myself, “It’s been fifteen years. Things in the medical world have advanced so much. My husband is older, his body is different. This is going to all be okay.”

But, me being me...I was also devastated. I cried in the hospital; I cried driving myself home when we realized there was nothing else that would be happening that night/morning; I cried when I walked into our home by myself; I cried when my cat looked at me and could see in her eyes that she knew something was wrong; I cried laid down alone in our bed and the reality of everything came crashing down on me. I was really and truly scared, and it hit me just how much my husband means to me. Just how much my life is dedicated to him and just how much everything had changed in a few short hours.

I had to face a lot of things those first seventy-two hours that my scaredy-cat anxiety self didn’t want to do. Being responsible for my husband's care and health by taking charge at the ER/hospital...driving myself to the hospital (I hate driving on highways...I mean absolutely despise I drove on "back roads" even though it took me longer)...being home alone/sleeping alone at night...and doing all of this without the two people I rely on for just about everything. My mom was in North Carolina with my brother because he had to go to the hospital to get his gall bladder removed at the exact same time. I was thrown into facing a lot of things that I would have otherwise avoided at all costs because I had no choice. And to hear people say they’re proud of me of how I handled everything (when I seriously felt that everything was spinning out of control), has made all of this seem a little less sucky. Because I feel proud of myself, even though I wasn’t quite prepared for God to throw ALL of that my way just yet!

I finally got to bring my husband home the other night. That was the best feeling in the world. He was happy for real food, real shower, and his real bed! Each day he is getting better and better - slowly but surely, he is healing. He’ll finish out all of his antibiotics and then we’ll have a doctors appointment in a few weeks. So hopefully by the middle of March or beginning of April, we can finally put all this behind us and my husband will be back to me, even better than before. I do know one thing...there’s no doubt how strong our marriage is. Just like he was there for me when I was so very sick in 2011, to me being here for him now. We are always in everything together, and this is true and eternal love. There’s a reason the verse is, “for better or for sickness and in health”!

* UPDATE: Check out this post for a continuation of my husband's health problems a year later... :(